Best Architects of the United States of America 1929 - Today

1. Frank Gehry 1929

Frank Gehry is a Canadian-American architect based in Los Angeles, America. He is widely known for his buildings designed on contemporary modern architecture including the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain; the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles; the Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle, and others. He won the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1989.

Frank Gehry
Early Life & Education
Frank Owen Goldberg was born on 28th February 1929 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His father was Irving Goldberg and his mother was Sadie Thelma. When Frank Gehry was a child, he built little buildings and cities with wooden pieces with his grandmother.

He moved to America with his family in 1947 and lived in California. Initially, he worked as a driver of a delivery vehicle. He enrolled at Los Angeles City College and later studied at the School of Architecture of the University of Southern California and graduated in 1954.

He served in the US Army briefly after finishing college. He started studying urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge. He did not complete his studies there and left the course displeased.

Career & Projects
Frank Gehry went back to Los Angeles and joined the office of Austrian architect Victor David Gruen. In 1961, he travelled to Paris and joined the architect Andre Remondet. In 1962, he established his architectural studio in Los Angeles that became known as Frank Gehry and Associates in the year 1967. Later in 2001, Gehry Partners came into being.

Frank Gehry designed his own house, Gehry Residence or Gehry House or Frank Gehry House, in Santa Monica, California. He also designed the commercial plaza Santa Monica Place in 1980. He created a house design for a residential project Norton House, in Venice, California in 1984.

Frank Gehry used exposed plywood, chain link fence, and corrugated steel in his various projects. Frank Gehry's architectural achievements are the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles; Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle; Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, France; Vontz Center for Molecular Studies at the University of Cincinnati; MIT Ray and Maria Stata Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; New World Center, Miami Beach; 8 Spruce Street, New York; Cinematheque Francaise, Paris; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; MARTa Herford museum, Germany; Vitra Design Museum, Germany; Dancing House, Prague; Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota and others. He also designed the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington D.C.

architect Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry's buildings also include Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, San Pedro; Binoculars Building or Chiat/Day Building, Venice, Los Angeles; and California Aerospace Museum in the California Museum of Science and Industry, Los Angeles.

Frank Gehry was the winner of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1989.

2. John Hejduk 1929 - 2000

John Hejduk was a great American architect, painter, sculptor, and artist. He also served as an educator.

Early Life & Education
John Quentin Hejduk was born on 19th July 1929. He studied architecture at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture (Cooper Union Architecture School). He was enrolled at the University of Cincinnati and later studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Career & Projects
The Czech-origin architect John Hejduk worked with a famed architect I. M. Pei and also joined the studio of A. M. Kinney and Associates. John Hejduk founded his architectural studio in 1965 based in New York City.

His influential projects include Gate House; Wall House II; Tegel Housing; Kreuzberg Tower Wings and others. John Hejduk began teaching architecture subject at the School of Architecture of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and taught till the year 2000.

John Hejduk died on 3rd July 2000 in New York City, America.

3. Stanley Tigerman 1930 – 2019

Stanley Tigerman was an American architect, artist, and theorist. He taught at various universities in America.

Early Life & Education
Stanley Tigerman was born on 20th September 1930 in Chicago, Illinois, America. His father Samuel Tigerman was an engineer and his mother Emma worked for the federal government. He initially learned to become a musician.

Stanley Tigerman enrolled in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study architecture but failed after a year.

Career & Projects
Stanley Tigerman interned with architect George Fred Keck for a year. He left his studio to begin his work but could not succeed. For the next four years, he served in the US Navy. He went back to Chicago and joined AJ Del Bianco for two years. Later he worked with Milton Schwartz and then joined Skidmore Owings & Merrill. He officially became an architect in 1958 although he did not formally complete his studies then. He enrolled at the Yale School of Architecture to study his post-graduation program completed in 1961. While he was studying at Yale, he worked at Paul Rudolph’s studio at night.

Stanley Tigerman founded his studio Stanley Tigerman and Associates Ltd. In Chicago in 1961. His firm was later known as Tigerman McCurry Architects.

Some of his influential projects are Broadwalk Apartments; The Five Polytechnic Institutes, Bangladesh; Illinois Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Chicago; Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Illinois; Powerhouse Energy Museum, Zion, and others.

Stanley Tigerman died on 3rd June 2019 in Chicago, Illinois, America.

4. Michael McKinnell 1935 – 2020

Michael McKinnell was an American architect, born in Britain. He is known for his design for Boston City Hall where he collaborated with Gerhard Kallmann. He taught architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and various other institutes.

Early Life & Education
Noel Michael McKinnell was born on 25th December 1935 in Salford, Manchester, United Kingdom. He studied architecture at the University of Manchester in 1958. Michael McKinnell completed his post-graduation in architecture from Columbia University where he met professor Gerhard Kallmann.

Career & Projects
The British-born architect founded his architectural practice, Kallmann McKinnell & Wood, along with his partner Gerhard Kallman in 1962. Initially, the studio was recognized for the use of concrete in its projects. In later years, it emphasized other materials.

His famed projects are Boston City Hall, Massachusetts; American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge; Independence Visitor Center, Philadelphia; Hynes Convention Center, Boston, and others.

Michael McKinnell won the Royal Manchester Institution Silver Medal. He also received the Award of Honor from the Boston Society of Architects in 1994.

Michael McKinnell died on 27th March 2020 in Rockport, Massachusetts, America.

5. Der Scutt 1934 – 2010

Der Scutt was a notable American designer and architect. He worked on many large projects in New York City and across America. He is known for working on Donald Trump’s Trump Tower, in New York City.

Early Life & Education
Donald Clark Scutt was born on 17th October 1934 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. He studied at the Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute and later at the Pennsylvania State University.

Der Scutt worked with architect Philip Johnson for about a year. He went on to study his post-graduation program at Yale University.

Career & Projects
Der Scutt worked with Edward Durell Stone in 1961. He joined the studio of Paul Rudolph in 1962 and worked till 1965. He began working with Khan & Jacobs in 1965 to the year 1975. He worked for Poor Swanke Hayden & Connell Architects from 1975 to 1981. In 1981, he founded his architectural firm, Der Scutt Architect.

His notable projects are One Astor Plaza; Grand Hyatt New York; Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee; Continental Insurance Corporation, New York; United Nations Plaza Tower residential building; the Corinthian residential building; Roure Bertrand Dupont building; HSBC Bank building and others.

Der Scutt was diagnosed with liver malfunction and died on 14th March 2010 in Manhattan, New York City, America.

6. Samuel Mockbee 1944 – 2001

Samuel Mockbee was an American architect and artist. He served as an educator too. He is widely known for founding the Rural Studio Program course at Auburn University.

Early Life & Education
Samuel Mockbee was born on 23rd December 1944 in Meridian, Mississippi. He served as an artillery officer in the US Army for two years. He studied architecture at Auburn University and completed his graduation in 1974. He did his internship in Columbus Georgia and later in 1977, he moved back to Mississippi.

Career & Projects
Samuel Mockbee partnered with his friend Thomas Goodman. As he developed a sense of link with the rural areas, he founded the Rural Studio Program course at Auburn University. This program encourages students to design and construct modern architectural buildings using locally available indigenous materials and technologies, merging modernism with vernacular architecture. 

He was the author of the book ‘The Nurturing of Culture in the Rural South an Architectonic Documentary’.

Samuel Mockbee was awarded the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal after his death.

Samuel Mockbee suffered from leukaemia and died on 30th December 2001.

7. Thom Mayne 1944

Thom Mayne is an American architect based in Los Angeles, US. He assisted in establishing the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), in Los Angeles, California where he serves as the coordinator of a postgraduate program, the Design of Cities. He has taught at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; SCI-Arc and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Early Life & Education
Thom Mayne was born on 19th January 1944 in Waterbury Connecticut, America. He enrolled at the University of Southern California to study architecture in 1968. In 1978, he continued his studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He initially joined the office of the Korean architect Ki Suh Park as an urban designer.

Career & Projects
Thom Mayne left California State Polytechnic University in 1972 and founded the Southern California Institute of Architecture together with some colleagues and students.

Thom Mayne taught design at Yale University; Harvard University; Columbia University; University of Pennsylvania; Bartlett School of Architecture, London, and Berlage Institute, Holland.

In 1972, he established his architectural firm Morphosis along with some other partners. American architect Michael Rotondi partnered with the firm in 1975. He now serves as the principal architect at Morphosis Architects based in New York and California.

Some of his notable projects include Diamond Ranch High School, California; Graduate House, University of Toronto; Los Angeles Center, Emerson College; Rec Center, University of Cincinnati; San Francisco Federal Building and several others.


Thom Mayne was honoured with the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 2005.

8. William Mcdonough 1951

William Mcdonough is an American architect and designer who focuses on the development of sustainable architecture and green architecture movements. He is also an internationally recognized author for his book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.

Early Life & Education
William Andrews McDonough was born in Tokyo, Japan on 20th February 1951. His father was the Seagram Company’s executive. William Mcdonough studied at Dartmouth College and later at Yale University.

Career & Projects
William Mcdonough founded William McDonough + Partners - WM+P in 1981 in New York. One of his first recognized works is the Environmental Defense Fund Headquarters – EDF executed in 1984. The key requirement of the project was to provide a good quality of air inside the structure. This concept led William McDonough to the development of sustainable architecture and increased his interest.

In 1994, his studio was moved to Charlottesville, Virginia where he held the position of Dean at the School of Architecture of the University of Virginia and remained there till 1999.

His main design principle is to transform the idea of being “less bad” into doing “more good”. He focuses on the design that creates more good rather than reducing the harmful effect by giving an example of a tree that creates something good such as oxygen instead of harming the environment. He employs passive techniques of energy conservation such as solar energy, natural ventilation, daylight, and others in his designs. He uses overhangs, relationships with outdoor landscapes, Photovoltaic solar panels on roofing, usage of rainwater, and rain gardens in his projects.  

William Mcdonough serves as the chief executive at the McDonough Innovation, consulting firm. He co-established the McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry – MBDC in Charlottesville, Virginia; the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

William Mcdonough executed several projects for major companies such as Herman Miller furniture company; Nike and The Gap.

Some of his other famous works are Ford Motor Company’s River Rouge Plant, Dearborn, Michigan; NASA Sustainability Base; Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest, Kentucky; American University School of International Service and others.

He wrote a non-fiction book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, along with another author. He co-wrote another book The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance.

William Mcdonough was honoured with the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development in the year 1996. He received the US Environmental Protection Agency - EPA – Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 2003 and the National Design Award from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in 2004.

9. Tom Kundig 1954

Tom Kundig is an American architect based in Seattle, US. He won several awards including the National Design Award, the Academy Award in Architecture, and several National American Institute of Architects - AIA awards.

Early Life & Education
Tom Kundig was born on 9th October 1954 in Merced, California. He stayed in Spokane, Washington during the early years of his life. He got inspiration from working at a sawmill, climbing, hiking, skiing, and his environment and surroundings. He was also influenced by Harold Balazs, an American artist, and sculptor.

Initially, Tom Kundig learned to become a geophysicist before studying architecture at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Career & Projects
In the year 1986, Tom Kundig became a partner of the architectural practice Olson Kundig Architects established by American architect Jim Olson in 1967 in Seattle. His firm (Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects) earned the National Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects – AIA in 2009.

American monthly magazine, ‘Fast Company’, named Tom Kundig’s studio among the top ten most creative and innovative architecture firms. American monthly magazine, ‘Architectural Record’, highlighted and published some of Tom Kundig’s architectural projects for the magazine as Record Houses such as Delta Shelter and Rolling Huts.

The press publisher, Princeton Architectural Press, published the book ‘Tom Kundig: Houses in 2006 and issued ‘Tom Kundig: Houses 2’ on his residential projects in 2011. Princeton Architectural Press published ‘Tom Kundig: Works’ on Tom Kundig’s public and commercial projects in 2015. Tom Kundig houses and other projects have been named in several magazines, journals, and newspapers such as ‘The New York Times’, ‘Architectural Record’, ‘Financial Times’, ‘Architectural Digest’, ‘Dwell’ and ‘The Wall Street Journal’.

Some of his most famous projects include some private residences such as Studio House (1998) and Chicken Point Cabin (2002). Tom Kundig serves as a design and architecture lecturer and juror. He served as a critic at the University of Oregon and Harvard University in America as well as universities in Japan. He taught as a professor at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, established by John G. Williams in 1946 at the University of Arkansas. He served as the design critic at the School of Architecture at Syracuse University.

Tom Kundig was honoured with the National Design Award for architecture design in 2008 by the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt. He won the Academy Award for Architecture in the year 2007 from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. He also was the winner of several National American Institute of Architects – AIA awards.

10. Perry Kulper

Perry Kulper is an American architect and is teaching architecture as an associate professor at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning of the University of Michigan.

Early Life & Education
Perry Kulper completed his graduation from California Polytechnic State University. He studied his post-graduation program at Columbia University.

Career & Projects
Perry Kulper joined the practice of architect Eisenman Robertson. Later he worked for Robert AM Stern Architects where he designed several buildings and complexes. He has also worked for Venturi, Ranch, and Scott Brown Architects.

11. David Jameson

David Jameson is an influential American architect based in Wisconsin, US.

Career & Projects
David Jameson established his architectural studio ‘David James Architects Inc.’ based in Washington DC. The firm specializes in residential projects.

Some of David Jameson’s notable projects are Jigsaw Residence; Barcode House; Hull House; Black White Residence; Glenbrook Residence; Graticule House; Manifold House and many others.

12. John Lautner

John Lautner was a remarkable American architect of the 20th-century modern era. He is widely recognized for his residential projects in California. He is famed for his Atomic Age villas and Googie architecture, futuristic architectural sense of style inspired by the Atomic Age, the Space Age, cars, and jets.

Early Life & Education
His father John Edward Lautner was a teacher and his mother Vida Cathleen was a painter and interior designer. As a child, John Lautner was inspired by his family’s summer house ‘Midgaard’ located on a rock in Lake Superior. It was designed by his mother and built by his family.

He entered the Northern State Teachers College. He also studied in Boston, New York, and Massachusetts. He completed his graduation in 1933.

Career & Projects
John Lautner apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright around the 1930s in Arizona, Wisconsin. During this time, he worked on some of FL Wright’s projects such as Jester House; Sturges House, California; Ennis House; Green House; Bell House; Lowe House; Mauer House; and Malibu House.

John Lautner founded his firm in 1938 based in Los Angeles. In 1944, he collaborated with architects Whitney R. Smith, Samuel Reisbord, and later Douglas Honnold on many projects such as Coffee Dan’s restaurant in Los Angeles and Hollywood; Beverly Hills Athletic Club; Eisele Guest House; and Mauer House. In 1947, John Lautner left Honnold’s office. He played a significant part in the development of LA architecture.

Some of his other significant mid-century architecture projects are Russ Garcia House; Paul Sheats House; Leonard Malin House; Lautner House; Astor Farm Cottage; Henry’s Restaurant, Glendale; Gantvoort House; Desert Hot Springs Motel (Hotel Lautner); Carling House; Tower Motors Lincoln Mercury Showroom; Sheats Apartments (L’ Horizon); Harpel Residence; Leonard J. Malin House (chemosphere), Los Angeles; Hope Residence; Arango Residence (Marbrisa) and others.

He created projects that became masterpieces of architecture. He always came up with unique ideas. Architect John Lautner’s works are inspired by an organic modern architectural style. Architect John Lautner built a residence, Sheats Goldstein House, for himself. The architect designed the Chemosphere House. The site was located on a steep slope. It was hard to do any construction at 45-degree sloped land. He designed this octagon-shaped house raised on a thick concrete column with 30 feet of height.

He created the design for the Elrod House in the year 1968 based on free architecture design. He fused architecture and nature into one single entity.

Architect John Lautner designed and constructed a house, Silver Lake House (Lautner House), in 1940 for him and his family in Silver Lake. The car porch is covered with a flat roof made of concrete. There is a wooden fence lower in height. A simple entrance leads one to the interiors. The kitchen and dining spaces are segregated from the family hall by two levels without any internal walls for separation. Concrete, steel beams, and redwood are used on the simple exteriors of the house.

13. Julie Snow

Julie Snow is a great American architect.

Early Life & Education
Julie Snow studied architecture at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.

Career & Projects
Julie Snow established her architectural studio ‘Julie Snow Architects’ in 1995. It was later known as Snow Kreilich Architects in partnership with Matthew Kreilich based in Minneapolis, US.

Some of her notable projects are Metro Transit Mall of America Transit Station; Lake Country School, Minneapolis; Arthur J Altmeyer Federal Office Building; B+W House, Minneapolis; Weekend House; Lake Superior, and others.

Snow Kreilich Architects won several awards including the National AIA Honor Award, Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award, Holcim Bronze Award, AIA Architecture Firm Award in 2018, and others.

Famous Architectural Design Studios in the United States

1. Associated Architects
Associated Architects is an architectural company based in Mesa, Arizona, America.

2. BCJ Architects
BCJ Architects is an architectural firm based in America with six offices across America. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects was established in 1965 by Richard Powell and Peter Bohlin in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. Later, it was merged in 1979 with another architectural firm Larkin Cywinski which was based in Philadelphia and owned by Bernard Cywinski and John F. Larkin. BCJ Architects are highly famed for their distinct projects in various sectors such as residential, commercial, educational, government, and cultural.

3. BC & J Architects
BC & J Architects is an architecture and construction management company based in Bainbridge Island, Washington, US. The principals are Peter Brachvogel and Stella Carosso.

4. Carlile Coatsworth Architects – CCA Architecture
Carlile Coatsworth Architects or CCA Architecture is an architectural consultancy firm based in Irvine, California, US.

5. Chad Oppenheim
Oppenheim Architecture is an architecture, interior, and urban designing firm with studios in Miami, US, and Basel, Switzerland. It was established by Chad Oppenheim in 1999.

6. Charles Cunniffe Architects or CCA
Cunniffe Architects or CCA is an architecture, urban planning, and interior design firm with a studio based in Aspen, Colorado. CCA Architecture is well-known both nationally and internationally. It was established in 1980.

7. Capital Architects (Capital Architecture)
Capital Architects Group PC is an architectural firm based in Everett, Washington. It was established in 2001.

8. Carleton Architecture
Carleton Hart Architecture is a design firm and architectural practice based in Portland, Oregon, US to create novel solutions to society’s design concerns. It was established in 1994.

9. Co Architects
Co Architects is a remarkable architecture and design firm with headquarters based in Los Angeles. It also has its studio in San Diego. It was established in 1986.

10. Design Studio Architects
Design Studio Architects is an architectural practice based in Littleton, Colorado, America.

11. Domus Architecture
Domus Studio Architecture is an architecture firm based in San Diego, US. It was founded in 1986 by Lew Dominy.

12. Esg Architects
ESG Architects is an architecture and design company with its headquarters in Minneapolis.

13. Eyrc
Eyrc Architects is an architecture and design practice with an international reputation based in Los Angeles and San Francisco, US. Eyrc Architects was previously known as Ehrlich Architects.

14. Fergus Garber
Fergus Garber Architects is a reputable architecture design and interior design company based in Palo Alto, California, America.

15. Hed Architects
Hed Architects is an architecture and engineering firm based in the US.

16. Jacobs Architecture
Jacobs Architecture is an architectural and engineering consulting firm in Dallas, Texas, USA.

17. Jcb Architects
Jcb Architects or Jeanne C. Byrne, FAIA Architects is an architecture firm based in Pacific Grove, California, US. It is a member of the American Institute of Architects AIA as an FAIA Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. It was established in 1982 by Jeanne C. Byrne.

18. Jsa Architects
Jsa Architects is an architecture firm in America. Johnson Seefeldt Architects was established in 1985 in Odessa, Texas, US by Larry J. Johnson along with another founding member Jack W. Seefeldt.

19. Jsa Architects
Jsa Architects is an architecture and design firm based in Florida, US founded in 1987.

20. Jcb Architects
Jcb Architects is an architecture company located in Lexington, Kentucky, US. James C. Burris established the firm in 2013.

21. Kpf Architects
Kpf Architects or Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates is a leading architectural firm based in America with its headquarters in New York City.

22. Greenline Architects
Green Line Architects is an architecture practice based in Colorado.

23. Olson Kundig Architects
Olson Kundig Architects is an architectural design firm based in Seattle, US. It was established in 1967 by architect Jim Olson.

24. One Architecture
One Architecture is a professional leading firm based in the US involved in various building segments such as primary schools, secondary education, restaurants, hotels, kidney dialysis, and commercial projects. It was founded in 1993.

25. Nbbj Architects
Nbbj Architects is an American architecture and design firm with regional offices located in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Columbus, London, Hong Kong, Pune, and Shanghai. It was founded in 1943 by Floyd Naramore, Clifton Brady, William J. Bain, and Perry Johanson.

26. No Architects
No Architects is an international firm located in New York City. Andrew Heid founded the firm No Architects.

27. Portman Architects
Portman Architects is a full-service architecture and design firm. It was established by John C. Portman Jr. John Calvin Portman Jr. was born on 4th December 1924. He was an American architect influenced by neo-futurism architecture. He died on 29th December 2017. John C. Jack Portman III was born on 3rd November 1948. He was the son of the American architect John Calvin Portman Jr. He died on 28th August 2020.

28. Perkins And Will Architects
Perkins And Will Architects is a design and architecture firm based in America with regional offices around the world such as Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Washington DC, Monterrey, Denver, Durham, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Charlotte, and Vancouver.

29. Populous Architects
Populous Architects is an international architectural firm headquartered in America. The regional offices of Populous Architects are present across the world, Kansas City, Boston, Dallas, Denver, New York, Pittsburgh, Norman, London, Milan, Brisbane, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney, Dubai, and New Delhi.

30. Sikka Associates
Sikka & Associates is an architectural design practice based in America.

31. Snohetta Architects
Snohetta Architects is a multidisciplinary firm based in Oslo and New York.

32. Studio Gang Architects
Studio Gang Architects is a leading architecture, design, and urban planning firm based in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.

33. Studios Architecture
Studios Architecture is an international architecture and design company based in Washington DC, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Lyon, and Mumbai.

34. Waechter Architecture
Waechter Architecture is an architecture firm based in Portland, Oregon, US.

35. Brunelleschi Construction
Brunelleschi Construction is a construction company based in Jersey.

36. Stone Architecture
Stone Architecture is an architecture firm based in the United States.